Like a good magic act, JH Wyman's original screenplay distracts you from its gaps of logic, using unexpected revelations to fuel its strategic vitality. It also provides a wealth of character development, and director Gore Verbinski (Mouse Hunt) gives his stellar cast equal time to shine. It hardly matters that Pitt and Roberts spend most of the film apart; their time together is worth waiting for, and the machinations that separate them play out like a cross between vintage Peckinpah and Romancing the Stone. And why is the accursed pistola so valuable? That's just another surprise, setting the stage for the arrival of yet another big-name star, whose motivations are pure in a film full of double-crosses and darkly shaded humour. With a giddy plot such as this, star power is just icing on the cake.--Jeff Shannon, Amazon.com
On the DVD: The "making of" featurette is a fast-paced look behind the scenes of the film complete with a humorous American voiceover, which enhances the impression that this is a made-for-TV marketing feature. More interesting are the many deleted scenes, with optional commentary by Gore Verbinski (Director), Craig Wood (Editor) and John Wyman (Writer), who do a great job in explaining why the cuts were made and offer an insight into the difficulty of making these decisions. The full-length feature commentary, with the same group, is lively, amusing and enlightening. The film itself is nicely presented in16:9 anamorphic widescreen and Dolby 5.1. --Nikki Disney
Making Of "The Mexican"
Deleted Scenes with Commentary
Deleted Scene: Brad Pitt
(All with Subtitles available)
Subtitles Tracks: English Deaf and Hard of Hearing
Soundtrack: English Dolby Digital 5.1
Jerry Welbach is a small time hoodlum of pathetic stature. Having caused a motor accident with high powered mobster Arnold Margolese, Welbach is sent on a numerous jobs to redeem himself. With his unfortunate ability to mess everything up, he is given one last chance to get himself off the hook by travelling to Mexico and picking up an antique pistol for the now imprisoned boss.
Welbach's partner Samantha not being too chuffed with the prospect of her lover dashing off again, throws his clothes out of their room and generally hot foots it out of his life. Unfortunately the message that Jerry and Samantha are no longer an item hasn't reached Margolese's ears as he sets a hitman off to abduct Samantha.
A hitman (notice I say "a" and not "the hitman") does abduct Samantha and in an "odd couple road trip" of traditional cinematic style, takes her off to Las Vegas. Needless to say that this job also starts to go wrong for Jerry and it's not too long before Samantha and her "guide" also have to travel to Mexico to dig Jerry out of his latest hole.
I was quite interested to read that Brad Pitt didn't really want to do this film and it was only contractual restrictions that forced him into it. His performance, whilst not being awful by a long chalk, is never the less, under par and more than a little half-hearted. Julia Roberts on the other hand seems to have great fun with her role and revels in many of her scenes. Perhaps it's because she has to play off James Gandolfini for so much of it and he really puts in a performance that all but steals the show. There's still time for Gene Hackman to pop up at the end and round things off to a nice happy end.
Not the best thriller or best black comedy I've seen but there are several really good one-off scenes that are worth watching the film for.
Jerry, a small-time crook trying to go straight to save his relationship with the fiery Sam, gets hired to retrieve a pair of antique pistols, steeped in folklore, for a mystery buyer. As collateral, Sam is taken hostage by a tough looking hitman, who isn't all he seems to be. Sneaking the guns away isn't as easy as it might first seem, and Jerry has to race against time to rescue his girlfriend and their relationship.
Inspite of the cracking pace of the film's main storyline, both characters get plenty of opportunity to explore the complexities of their relationship. There are many moments of surprising levity peppered throughout - the repeated telling of the tale behind the pistols from different perspectives is particularly sharp and amusing - and James Gandolfini puts in a stonking show as a hitman-with-a-secret.
Brad and Julia really do excel in their roles, and the scenes where they are both together are highly charged, entertaining exchanges, though the film's premise keeps them apart for the majority of the whole thing. The film is given added depth by keeping a tight, compact primary set of characters, but builds the climax very nicely for a keen finish.
I see from the review list that opinion is certainly split on this one - some people love it, some people hate it, in which case the only advice I'd give is to take a look and see for yourself. I could understand why some people might not take to a strange film that can at first seem quite superficial, but personally, I thought it was top stuff.
Jerry, a part-time thief trying to 'go straight' to save his relationship with the feisty Sam, gets dragged into a scheme to gain possession of two antique pistols and deliver them to a mysterious buyer. As collateral to make sure he comes through with the goods, Sam is kidnapped by a burly, but chatty and world-weary guard (James Gandolfini) who isn't quite what he seems...
Brad and Julia do their 'thing', and their characters have plenty of scenes to really explore the intricacies of Sam and Jerry's relationship, despite them rarely appearing on-screen at the same time for virtually the whole film. There are lots of amusing moments to lighten the fast-paced journey of the film - the multiple version flashbacks to the story behind the pistols which Jerry has been sent to retrieve are really quite entertaining - and the quirky characters chasing Jerry and Sam definitely add something to an eclectic mix of personalities. The plot takes a few strange twists and livens things up with a few sideline stories and characters, but moves along at a cracking pace, and with some slick acting from Pitt throughout.
There's a real mix of opinion on this film here, I notice. It's hard to sum it up in just a few sentences, I suppose the best advice is to see it with an open mind, let the film take you through the story and see what you think.
Personally I thought it was top.
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